Making Parents

Whilst ‘Parenting Culture’ and ‘Assisted Reproductive Technologies’ are now well established subfields of sociological scholarship, so far, the common threads between these two bodies of work have not been significantly explored. Taking ‘reproduction’ as the locus of this comparison, this project, run by CPCS Associates Charlotte Faircloth (UCL) and Zeynep Gurtin (Cambridge) aims to bring together novel contributions from scholars working in either field who are interested in creating such connections. In particular, we are interested in exploring the ways contemporary cultures of parenthood create an appetite for these technologies, just as technologies simultaneously contribute to shaping those very cultures

As part of the project, we have run three events, a panel at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Denver (November 2015), a conference held at the University of Roehampton in conjunction with the BSA Human Reproduction and Families and Relationships Study Groups (December 2015) and a panel at the BSA Annual Conference in Manchester (April 2017).

The publications from the project are as follows: 

Journal Article: 

Faircloth, C. and Gürtin, Z. 2017 ‘Fertile connections? Thinking across Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Parenting Culture Studies’ Sociology Online First

Special Issues:

1 Gürtin, Z. and Faircloth, C. 2018 Anthropology and Medicine Special Issue ‘Conceiving Parenthood: Intentions, Expectations and Reproductive Assistance’  and now available as a book ‘Conceiving contemporary parenthood’ with Taylor and Francis 


Zeynep B. Gürtin and Charlotte Faircloth

1. Being a ‘good’ parent: single women reflecting upon ‘selfishness’ and ‘risk’ when pursuing motherhood through sperm donation

Susanna Graham

2. The role of normative ideologies of motherhood in intended mothers’ experiences of egg donation in Canada

Kathleen Hammond

3. Accounting for the money-made parenthood of transnational surrogacy

Ingvill Stuvøy

4. Surrogate non-motherhood: Israeli and US surrogates speak about kinship and parenthood

Elly Teman and Zsuzsa Berend

5. Ideals, negotiations and gender roles in gay and lesbian co-parenting arrangements

Cathy Herbrand

6. Conceptions of transgender parenthood in fertility care and family planning in Sweden: From reproductive rights to concrete practices

Jenny Gunnarsson Payne and Theo Erbenius

7. Commentary

Marcia C. Inhorn

2. Faircloth, C. and Gurtin, Z. 2017 Sociological Research Online Special Section ‘Making Parents: Reproductive Technologies and Parenting Culture Across Borders’ Vol 22. Issue 2

Introduction – Making Parents: Reproductive Technologies and Parenting Culture Across Borders by Charlotte Faircloth and Zeynep Gürtin

‘I Suppose I Think to Myself, That’s the Best Way to Be a Mother’: How Ideologies of Parenthood Shape Women’s Use of Social Egg Freezing Technology
by Kylie Baldwin

Making ‘Assisted World Families’? Parenting Projects and Family Practices in the Context of Globalised Gamete Donation
by Nicky Hudson

Parenthood and Partnerhood in the Context of Involuntary Childlessness and Assisted Reproduction in Greece
by Aglaia Chatjouli, Ivi Daskalaki and Venetia Kantsa

Is Information Power? Comparing Anonymous and Open Egg Donation
by Amy Speier

Affective De-Commodifying, Economic De-Kinning: Surrogates’ and Gay Fathers’ Narratives in U.S. Surrogacy
by Marcin Smietana

Practice Makes Parents: Commentary on the Special Issue on “Making Parents: Reproductive Technologies and Parenting Culture Across Borders”
by Charis Thompson